They were all dead. Every single one of them.
Sam had been in the forests when it happened, he knew he wasn’t really supposed to be out, but he was sick of being stuck inside all day. He knew that they wouldn’t notice if he left for only a few hours to go exploring, besides it would help clear his head. There was nothing to signal what was about to happen, one moment everything was normal and the next he heard the high pitched whine and felt the hairs on his arms rise, he knew then what had happened but he had to see.
When he got back to the halls there was no one outside, they had moved on. The building looked normal, all the windows were intact, the doors were still shut, but the patrols had vanished, no one peeked from any of the windows, the entire place was still.
Sam circled around the house and used his secret entrance, a window whose latch never closed properly, even though it looked like it had, and climbed through. It was quiet. The building creaked as a gust of wind hit it. Gone were the sounds of scurrying feet, of talking, yelling. He opened the door to the hall slowly, not wanting to see. In the hall lay the bodies of Jen and Dan, Jen had been carrying a tray of food, probably to the sick, the tray lay on the ground, broken plates and bits of food scattered around it. Dan was leaning against the wall drunkenly, Sam moved passed slowly, afraid to touch either of them. As he passed Dan’s body fell forward to the ground. Sam winced at the noise.
He checked every room, there were no survivors. Everyone had died where they had fallen. There were no wounds, no sign of struggle. They all looked as though they were asleep. They had used the weapon, no one thought they would actually go through with it.
Sam gathered his few meagre belongings and moved through the house, grabbing anything of value that he could sell. When he was done he went to the kitchen and took as much food as he could carry, then he slipped out of the house and back into the woods. They would be back, it was only a matter of time and if they caught him they would kill him too.
Sam started walking, hopefully he’d be out of range by nightfall and with any luck, he’d find a new group to join before the month was out.